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Key Points

  • Effects from general anesthesia stay in your body for 12 to 24 hours. During that time, it’s important to rest and have someone stay with you.
  • After general anesthesia, nausea and vomiting can occur. To help prevent that from happening, it’s important that you slowly start introducing food and drinks. 



Your first meal should start with clear liquids, such as Jell-O, juice, pop or broth. Then, try a light or bland meal. If nausea or vomiting occurs, do not eat or drink anything for one to two hours. After that, start again with clear liquids and move slowly back to a regular diet. For tube feedings, the first feeding after anesthesia should be at half strength. Encourage fluids, especially during the first 12 to 24 hours after anesthesia.


Pain and discomfort

The amount of pain you have will differ from what other people experience, and it will be unpredictable. If you have more pain than you can control by using the pain medicine you were given, contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 or 800-719-4040 (toll free).



For 12 to 24 hours after anesthesia, your balance and coordination will be affected. You might feel lightheaded or dizzy. Try to rest quietly and avoid sudden movement. A responsible person must drive you home and stay with you today.

For the next 24 hours, DO NOT:

  • Drive or operate heavy machinery
  • Make important decisions
  • Drink any alcohol 
  • Handle any dangerous household appliances or kitchen knives


If you’re unable to pee for a period of six to eight hours after anesthesia, contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890 or 800-719-4040 (toll free).


Need Help?

Contact Telehealth Nursing

If you have questions or concerns, or if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever over 101.5°F
  • Pain not relieved by pain medicine
  • Unable to urinate for six to eight hours

Contact Telehealth Nursing:

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.